While searching for a Sun Hat, I wondered, Are UPF Hats Legitimate? Or are they just cool, cute, and interesting? A new trend? Or do they really work? Am I receiving any real protection from the sun?
I’m serious about sun blocking clothing and protecting my skin from the sun. But realizing that a hat along with sunglasses is the starting place for protection from the sun made me realize I had been ignoring hats! This shows me that UPF hats are legitimate.
Everyone Agrees, Hats Work
Wikipedia agrees with wearing sun hats. In modern times, sun hats are common in places around the world. Mainly in holiday resorts with plentiful direct sunlight, usually in tropical countries close to the Earth’s equator. They are particularly useful in protecting against UV-induced sunburns and skin cancers on the face and neck.
Yes, it makes sense that hats are important as the sun hits your head first when you are outside. That means your head has more exposure. Longer exposure gives the sun more time to damage your head, face, ears, and nose. Your neck.
So, another error in my thinking about sunblocking clothing. Another reason for the brown spots on my face, even with sunscreen. I need more help with skin protection.
Do Hats Really Protect Me From The Sun
The brim usually shades part of the face. The width of the brim, and how you wear it on your head will make a difference.
Do you wear it forward on your head, with the brim sitting straight across, shading your upper face more than your lower face?
Or is your hat usually farther back on your head with the brim angled up and allowing the sun to hit more of your face?
All of my sunhats have wider than 3 inches brims, which is the width SkinCancer.com suggests. Being a female, I am comfortable with a wider brim, and I don’t want to have to keep reapplying sunscreen.
I don’t have winter hats, yet. So far I only wear my sun hats in the yard in the winter. Again, lifestyle has a lot to do with how much clothing you will need to stay safe from the sun and its dangerous rays. My lifestyle involves a lot of staying in the house where it is cool and shaded.
Take Stock Of Your Lifestyle
My husband had some health issues last year that has caused us to be more careful of crowds and the dangers of quickly spreading viruses. So we haven’t been able to be out and as social as we have been in past years.
Whatever your lifestyle, there are some guidelines for good sun blocking hats.
A good sun hat is a tightly-woven fabric or straw. Yes, straw can be great to protect you from the sun. To find a straw hat that has a tight enough weave will probably have you shopping a little longer. Don’t give up, you will find one that works well for you.
My straw farmers-style hat has a very tight weave and offers great protection for my face. It has about a 5-inch brim that turns down to keep the sun off my face. There is also a tie to keep it on when the wind is blowing. I do live in central Texas, and the wind does blow! Not all hats are equal.
Hold the hat you are considering up to the sun or a light source. Are there little pinpricks of light getting through? If the light is getting through, the sun’s radiation can as well. Keep looking and shopping.
I bought my sun hat in a store in Fredericksburg, Texas that caterers to the old-fashioned “Dime Store” merchandise.
Fabric or straw with special sun blocking treatments work well I am sure, I just don’t have one yet. Right now, I find that these hats take care of me when I am out in the sun. If I am sitting in the bleachers, they may not work so well, time will tell.
Wool, felt, canvas, and fabrics that are a blend all work well for hats, and a bucket hat for lounging around the water is a winner for protection. There are safari hats with tons of updates like a flap to protect your neck, and a mask to pull down over your lower face. Check out the oversized brims now available on caps.
Hats Need To Fit Your Lifestyle
Some of us may be worrying about our faces getting too much sun, others may worry about getting a sunburn on their scalp. Is this the reason you need a hat when the sun is strong?
I know most people don’t worry about their scalp getting a sunburn. But some people do have to protect their scalp. Unless you’re bald, using a mineral sunblock on your head would be a huge challenge.
Not to mention, even if you don’t get a sunburn there, your scalp gets a lot of sun exposure when you’re out and don’t protect your head. Wearing a hat insures that your scalp has protection.
A hat with a dark color on the underside of the brim will also help protect your skin by absorbing light, not reflecting on your face. A great help to protect your face. This is a recent discovery, and hats are just now coating the underside of the brim in a darker color for more protection.
Your hat also has to be comfortable, otherwise, you will find it difficult to wear. And as you well know, if you don’t wear the hat, you will get no protection from the sun.
Try it on, and check out the fit before checking the mirror. Even if you look great in that hat, a poor fit will make you miserable.
This is true for your kids. Make sure the kids have hats that are tight enough to stay on, but not too tight. Younger kids usually need a way to keep the hat on if it has enough brim to actually shield their faces. Help them develop a healthy habit of wearing their sun hats.
Hats and Sunscreen Work Together
Your sunglasses and your hat work together to protect your head, face, neck, ears, nose, and cheeks. The parts of your face that could catch those sun rays that reflect from water, snow, or slick surfaces like cement, should have generous applications of sunscreen.
We have seen pictures of mishaps when the person got sunburn on their nose, cheeks, or neck.
Getting sunburn anywhere on your body can open the door to future skin cancer issues. Hats and sunglasses are the basics of sun blocking clothing. Hats are important in helping you protect yourself. Pay attention to the different styles and materials of your hat. Keep those aging sun rays off your face.
Sunscreen and sun blocking clothing can be your defense against sunburn. With our disappearing Ozone layer, we are going to have to do more to protect ourselves.
Start with a sun hat and sunglasses. Then a sun blocking shirt that fits loosely with long sleeves to allow the air to flow around your body. Add sunscreen to your face and any area not covered with clothing. Don’t realize 10 years down the road that you are looking older than you have to.
Sami’s Take On Are UFP Hats Legitimate
My part of the world has been a hat-wearing community for a long time. The farmers and ranchers who live and work here are seen every day in their hats. However, I am sorry to say, I have been slow to realize how important a hat is for protecting our skin from the sun.
I found myself stuck in the part of the population that considered hats an accessory. Not the tool to protect my skin that it is. I have been slow to realize and accept that I have to make changes to make things better.
I will be going back to the dermatologists, I am sure, as I have too much skin that has been overexposed.
There will be an accident here and there along my life years when I do get too much sun. However, it is possible for an old dog to learn new tricks. With some preparation, I can make my sun blocking clothing a part of my everyday habits. I have already made progress. The daily sunscreen is a start. By making some of the changes all but automatic, there will be some progress made. It will become easier to remember to protect my skin.
The better hours to be outside in the sun are a given now. For a while, I thought I could be out as much as I wanted to, regardless of the sun.
Finally, I have found out that I am not bulletproof. There is no magic that can make the old look go away. I can try to slow down the aging process for my skin. The damage that has been done is there.
Will you do a better job for your skin, and your family? Teach them early in life to protect themselves from the sun? Make some habits easier to acquire? There are things we can do. Are you improving your skin’s protection?
Do you have your sun hat?